Rebels fall to Wake Forest 27-3

The football game was delayed for almost two hours by strong storms in the Oxford area. When play started, the Demon Deacons controlled things from start to finish.

Wake Forest dominated Ole Miss Saturday night and rolled to a 27-3 non-conference victory in Oxford.

The Demon Deacons remained undefeated at 4-0, while the Rebels fell to 1-3.

The game was supposed to start at 5 p.m. but heavy thunderstorms delayed the kickoff until 6:50 p.m.

"There's no way we should play that way," Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron said afterwards. "I take full responsibility. We'll go back and look at our intensity, learn to compete and learn to win."

Early in the game, the Rebels, at their own 16-yard line, gained but a yard on their opening possession in three plays after winning the toss and taking the football. Rob Park punted and the Demon Deacons began a drive for their first points of the game. In eight plays, all on the ground and starting on a short field at the Ole Miss 46, Wake put it in the end zone on a 9-yard run around left end by De'Angelo Bryant. The extra point was good by Sam Swank, and the Deacs led 7-0 with 9:26 left in the first quarter.

As it turned out, that was enough points for a Wake Forest victory on this night.

"This win was about our ability to run the football," said Demon Deacon head coach Jim Grobe. "We were able to keep our defense off the field. We wanted our offensive line to start asserting themselves. We challenged them to be more physical. We knew Ole Miss had some young defenders on the defensive line. And we just challenged our kids and wanted to put that game in the hands of the offensive line and to keep a potentially dangerous (Ole Miss) offense off the field if we could."

Wake rushed for 240 yards to Ole Miss' 26. That was the story of the game.

The Rebels had 211 yards through the air to Wake's 43 yards.

In the second period the Deacons added a field goal after the Rebels stopped a drive at the UM 21. Swank connected on a 38-yard field goal with 5:07 to go for a 10-0 lead. Wake began at its own 40 and moved to the UM 19 when Quentin Taylor and Dustin Mouzon combined to stop Bryant on a two-yard loss.

The Rebels got their only points of the contest on a 26-yard Joshua Shene field goal with three seconds left in the first half, capping a 17-play, 80-yard drive that began at the Rebel 11.

The visitors from Winston-Salem, N.C., broke the game wide open throughout the third quarter as an announced crowd of 52,079 began exiting the stadium - save the 1,500 or so in gold and black. A Swank field goal from 26 yards was good with 9:21 to go in the period, the result of a 12-play drive of 72 yards. Wake Forest led 13-3.

Tailback Kevin Harris scored the Deacons' next touchdown, a 4-yard run that was set up on the previous play when Deacon quarterback Riley Skinner connected with fullback Rich Belton on a 28-yard play to the 4. After Harris' TD, Swank connected to make it 20-3 with 6:04 to go in the third.

A couple of Ole Miss possessions later, quarterback Brent Schaeffer was intercepted by safety Patrick Ghee at the UM 44 and returned down the near sideline to the 1-yard line. Fullback Mike Rinfrette took it in from the 1 on the very next play. Swank was good and there was 1:14 to go in the third period. Wake led 27-3.

And that's the way it ended.

With 7:27 to go in the game, Ole Miss put in junior quarterback Seth Adams in place of Schaeffer to try to get anything going. Adams finished 8-of-11 for 84 yards but the Rebels failed to produce any points while he was in.

Schaeffer finished the night 13-for-28 for 127 yards with one interception.

Dexter McCluster was the Rebels' leading receiver with six catches for 60 yards.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the Rebs' top ground gainer with 54 yards on 12 carries.

For the Deacons, Bryant rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries and the lone touchdown.

WFU only passed the football five times in the contest. Skinner was just 4-for-5 for 43 yards.

The Rebels host Georgia next weekend, while the Deacons host Liberty.

OM Spirit Top Stories